The chirping of birds was so clearly audible as the roads fell silent. The two ATM kiosks displayed ‘no cash’ boards. The usually noisy Jakkur Circle bus stop was deserted and the joy of the children playing on the main road was visible. A lone policeman with watchful eyes was standing in a corner of a thoroughfare. A food delivery boy was looking for an address. This was the picture of a part of Bengaluru on a Saturday morning when the weekend curfew was in full force.
Only the medical shops were open, but there were very few buyers in them. The nearby Amrutahalli market, with all the shops closed, portrayed the harsh reality of the pandemic and the consequent curfew. The siren of an ambulance pierced one’s ears as there was no other vehicle on the road. The usually busy junction between Amrutahalli and MCHS Layout lay empty.
No visitors to Megha Nursery, thanks to the curfew Credits: Sumit Bhattacharya (PG '22)
In Hegdenagar, the well-known Megha Nursery, which is generally full of plant lovers and buyers, wore a deserted look.
As the evening set in, the only source of light was from the street lamps when the lights in the shops in the supermarkets brightened the entire area. The colourful city of Bangalore was experiencing the rigours of the weekend curfew. Auto driver Manjunath says: “We are bound to obey the curfew regulations. Otherwise, we will have to witness many more deaths. There are very few customers even during weekdays, and with the curfew coming into force my income fell drastically. But I think this was necessary to save the lives of people as the number of COVID cases increased day by day.”
Venugopal, the owner of a tea stall, who could supply only takeaways, said: “Sir, only if I am alive can I work and earn. Curfew was essential to control the spreading virus and we all have to adjust and cooperate with the Government in this difficult time.”
It appeared that, at least during the weekends, Bengalureans were strictly following curfew regulations and other COVID-19 safety protocols.